Towards a common goal from a shared experience

Towards a common goal from a shared experience

Participatory processes are actions of great value in the success of the application of any strategy or project. Many are the municipalities, companies and organizations that introduce in the concretion and definition of their projects as well as in the management of their own personal participatory sessions as an emerging methodology in decision making. They do not seek anything other than working collaboratively in a group to contrast opinions, proposals and perspectives in order to reach a decision, always with a common goal.

The benefits of developing participatory sessions to work on a specific theme are many: from the encouragement of the involvement of the participants in the session and the creation of new proposals to the participation of different agents or the positive interdependence established between the members from the same group. In relation to the company, participatory processes serve to motivate workers by making them participate in an organization's decision process, as well as feeling fulfilled and involved in them. It involves engaging participants in important processes to make them feel part of a project and the company itself. This fact also favours a better development and implementation of the action worked together.

It must be taken into account, however, that sometimes the participants in these sessions have different characteristics or come from opposite areas, so it is essential to put the group into context, explain in detail what the session will be, the parts in which it will be divided and, above all, the common objective to be achieved in order to focus the end of the meeting. These tasks are carried out by the person in charge of moderating and directing the session, which will adopt a double role. On the one hand it will have the task of motivating the participants to provoke a lot of participation and debate among them; while on the other hand, it must act as a 'facilitator' to redirect the situation and intervene at a time when the group does not find the way to continue with the debate or the dialogue is unchecked from the central theme, for example.

There are several projects in which itik consultancy sport & leisure has developed this methodology by involving the agents that are implicated in the project to know their opinion, collecting their contributions and assessing their incorporation in the final work to make agreed proposals knowing the different concerns and demands.

To what extent should participatory sessions be part of the projects? Can they be used at any stage of a project? And in the company, what is the meaning of participatory sessions between workers and senior positions?